Inflammation of the tissues of the sinuses located inside your forehead, nose, and cheeks leads to a condition known as sinusitis, which manifests in the form of severe headache and nasal congestion. In addition, you might experience facial pain often accompanied by fever, and there might be other symptoms.
Usually, the common cold is a major cause of sinusitis, and even bacteria, viruses, fungi, and allergens are agents that can aggravate the problems.
- What are sinuses?
Under the face and forehead are four paired cavities or spaces filled with air, the sinuses. The spaces remain interconnected by narrow passages. Sinuses produce mucus that finds its way through the nasal page and drains through the nose. The drainage system helps to maintain a clean nose free from bacteria, pathogens, and allergens.
- Types of sinusitis
The types of sinusitis depend on the duration of the problem and the causes of inflammation.
Acute sinusitis usually lasts up to four weeks and is caused by viruses like the common cold, but the symptoms of sub-acute sinusitis last up to 12 weeks. Recurrent sinusitis is a condition that can occur four times a year, and chronic sinusitis caused by bacteria can last up to 12 weeks.
The other types of sinusitis are bacterial sinusitis, viral sinusitis and fungal sinusitis. Regardless of the type of sinusitis, people suffer from the same kind of painful condition.
Chronic sinusitis needs long-term treatment focused on reducing the inflammation of the sinuses, and its cure depends on the cause. Medications with antibiotics can help to cure chronic sinusitis, but not always. For example, if a nasal polyp causes sinusitis, then drugs will not work, and the only remedy is the surgical removal of the polyp.
- Diagnosing chronic sinusitis
Physical examination of the sinuses by inserting a thin fibre-optic tube fitted with a light through the nose allows the doctor to view the sinuses. The doctor might advise an allergy test if it seems to be causing sinusitis.
To pinpoint a deep inflammation or blockages due to tumours and polyps that are hard to detect by using an endoscope, the doctor can recommend some imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan that show the details of the nasal area and sinuses.
When the patient does not respond to treatment and the condition worsens, the doctor might recommend cultures of sinus discharge and draw samples from the nasal area. However, such testing is sporadic.
- Treatment of chronic sinusitis
Nasal sprays containing corticosteroids help treat and prevent inflammation of the sinuses. If nasal sprays are ineffective, the doctor might recommend inhaling a nasal mist of saline solution and a few drops of budesonide. Ideally, rinsing the nose with the answer is more effective.
Nasal sprays or solutions are effective in saline nasal irrigation for rinsing away allergies and irritants and reducing drainage.
The doctor would recommend corticosteroid injections or taking it orally for severe sinusitis, especially for those with nasal polyps. Allergy medications are effective for treating chronic sinusitis caused by allergies. Visit earnosethroat.com.sg/sinus-surgeon-sinusitis-treatment-surgery-specialist to know more.
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